Robotics and the Pandemic 2020
Rajesh Sharma | November 01, 2021
Humanity as we know has been taken on by a cold hearted, invisible enemy, a virus: The COVID-19 Coronavirus. Since the month of January 2020, till today as I type this article, in the battle between humans and the virus, it is the virus that is winning by a considerable margin. Current WHO statistics say 9,05,728 people are affected, 66,542 people have died across the globe because of this invisible, silent killer. This is an entirely new challenge for humanity and there are no vaccines or medicines made particularly for this disease, the doctors say, the primary way to combat this virus is ‘Social Distancing’, that is, staying away from people, avoiding crowded places, staying indoors.
However, essential services cannot cease to exist, food delivery, banking, hospitals, pharmacies etc must keep working for the sake of the survival of humans. So what about the medical workers then? What about the Police, the food and grocery delivery associates? These front liners are in direct risk of contamination of the virus as they have to come in direct contact with people. Even the gloves and masks they wear might not be sufficient enough to prevent the virus as we evidently see health workers getting affected on a daily basis.
Robotics and the Pandemic 2020
This is where Robotics can come in, robots can help reduce the human contact. They can help in proper social distancing. They can reduce the number of times a doctor or a paramedical team need to visit a quarantined patient and such robots have been in use in some of the countries around the world. Let’s site a few examples: There is a Robot called TUG, created by an US company named Aethon which is a nurse robot strolling through hospital corridors and delivering essential meds, towels, food etc to the desired patient on the desired bed number. Another example is the ‘Da Vinci Surgical System’ which is controlled by the hand movements of a trained surgeon to operate on a patient, the precision of this machine might be highly necessary for patients who are suffering from other conditions as well as from the coronavirus. These robots or machines help the doctors keep a safe distance between themselves and the patient as well as in reducing human error. Similarly, in case of delivery of necessary goods, companies like Amazon, Alibaba, etc has started using drones to deliver goods in many countries. Drones are also forms of robots which help in surveillance, delivery, etc.
Though we need human touch in every aspect of our lives, this is a unique situation where a human ‘touch’ can be fatal, and the touch of a robot might save lives and prove to be more efficient. Let us hope that humanity can work towards the creation of more such robots as well as a vaccine to combat the virus. We can definitely hope to win against the Pandemic as the virus is fighting alone, but we humans have robots in our team.
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